My teaching philosophy is closely linked with my artistic philosophy. I believe that a good teacher always looks for an opportunity to learn from the teaching experience, in order to become a better teacher. It is important to me that teaching design be both experimental and experiential, for the students and for me.
I believe that design education is fundamental for the growth and development of every student. A design education program should include, but not be limited to, the following areas: technical skills, themes and ideas, cultural diversity, and visual culture.
My teaching primarily focuses on the integration of visual culture into our everyday experience; as individuals, as a community, and as a society. It is essential that students learn the concepts and skills that will help them develop skills to know how to look at “fine art” while also being able to recognize art in their everyday experience. In a culture that has become so visually dependent, students must learn to communicate visually, as well as verbally, and through the written word.
Visual Arts programs should be an integral part of every student’s education, no matter their age, race, culture, level of affluence, gender, mental or physical disability. The arts provide students a unique way to interact with one another and to learn about themselves. Studies have shown that through the arts children develop self-confidence, critical thinking, and problem solving skills. Students also have a sense of accomplishment and pride when they complete “hands on” projects. These elements, whether measurable or not, are specific to the visual arts and are a necessary component of education. The arts also offers a way to integrate and work cooperatively with other disciplines.
Howard Gardner’s theory of Multiple Intelligences (MI) assumes that intelligence is multi-dimensional, resulting in different cognitive potentials, and varying cognitive styles. One aim of MI is to assess and identify the strengths of students in different learning areas. The integration of the visual arts into other academic disciplines will assist students who are visual learners.
Teaching must be a perpetual learning process, both for teacher and student. Any educational setting should be learning centered, and encourage students and teachers to exchange roles whenever appropriate.